Goldberg says goals hit warrant her return as treasurer

By Kori Tuitt,

LOWELL — A push for online Lottery sales and continued work on college savings plans are just two areas Treasurer Deb Goldberg said are important in the state.

There are a number of things Goldberg said she is proud to have achieved or advocated for over the past four years. First elected in 2014, the Democratic candidate is hoping voters will cast her name again. She spoke on her experience in the position during an editorial board meeting at The Lowell Sun on Tuesday.

One has been her efforts to make strides in financial literacy and higher education savings programs for youth. Last year, she implemented the SoarMA two-year pilot initiative to begin college savings and financial literacy resources for middle school students in Lowell, Haverhill, Springfield, Pittsfield and Worcester. A similar program, SeedMA, was launched for kindergartners in the Worcester and Monson Public Schools.

Goldberg most recently announced a college savings program for babies born in Massachusetts beginning in January 2020. These programs would also support vocational and tech training and are supported by private foundation money, not taxpayer dollars.

“We need to get these kids through their vocational training or college training because that’s what you need for jobs that are here that pay well,” she said. “And we need them to not be in debt, because otherwise you’re not going to be consumers.”

Goldberg also noted that she led record sales in the Massachusetts Lottery. In fiscal year 2017, sales reached $1.04 billion and in fiscal year 2018, they reached $997 million, which she said provided local aid to communities across the commonwealth. She said new, touch screen machines played a part in this success.

“We wouldn’t have gotten through the Powerball and the Mega Millions in the last couple of weeks without the new machines that I put in,” Goldberg said. “It just wouldn’t have happened. All the old ones would have jammed up.”

She has also been advocating for getting online Lottery sales in the state. Goldberg said business owners fear if that begins in Massachusetts, it will hurt their business. The goal, she said, is to create incentives for people to still go to the store.

“What we’ve learned and what we’ve shared with the legislators and sharing with our retail agents is that Michigan went online four years ago and as their overall sales have grown. So have the sales for their retail operators,” she said.

And if online gambling is approved but not online Lottery sales, Goldberg predicts the Lottery will collapse.

She said she will be back before the Legislature at the new session to continue to fight for this.

Since day one, Goldberg said, she has also advocated to replenish the state’s rainy day fund. She mentioned the launch of the CORE Plan, a statewide retirement plan for nonprofit organizations, which received the 2017 Pensions & Investments Innovation Award.

Goldberg is up against Keiko Orrall, the Republican candidate, and Jamie Guerin, the Green-Rainbow candidate, in next week’s general election.

“I love what I do,” she said. “My personal goal is economic stability for everyone in the state.”

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